As strange as it may seem, NFL preseason betting can offer some great opportunities. You’re probably thinking to yourself that the only people who bet on the preseason are gambling addicts or action junkies.
It may seem like that at first glance, but once you dig deeper into it, you’ll discover that great value can be found with NFL preseason betting. Stats and trends are pretty much worthless when it comes to the preseason.
You can’t go back and see how they preformed last season or even last preseason because of roster changes. There’s really nothing you can go off of from the past (except maybe the coach) because each preseason is totally different.
So now you’re probably asking yourself, “well if history isn’t going to help me out, then how am I supposed to get an advantage.” You’ll have an advantage because the linesmaker or sportsbook has the exact same problem, and that problem can create value opportunities for the sharp sports bettor.
Since there are so many unknowns, it’s very difficult for the linesmaker to set an accurate line for NFL preseason betting. If you look at most NFL preseason lines, you’ll see that 99% of them will be less than a 5 point spread.
That’s because it’s extremely difficult to set a good line. So with that being said, the linesmaker doesn’t have much of an advantage over the average bettor when it comes to NFL preseason lines and that’s exactly why a smart handicapper can find +EV.
Let’s take a look at my top NFL preseason betting tips. Now these aren’t just trends that will fade away either. These are solid strategies that will help to give you a distinct advantage when it comes to betting on preseason games.
If a team has a new coach, then this can certainly be a motivational factor. New head coaches will normally be taking over a team that was pretty piss poor the year before, so right off the bat there could be some value there.
Their biggest goal is to change their teams losing attitude and what better way to do that than winning a game. New coaches have much more to prove…especially when they’re playing at home. Let’s face it, they want to win over the fans.
Teams with new coaches who are home dogs can be excellent +EV (expected value). Now of course you need to do more research, but if you can find this scenario, it is a great starting point when looking for value in the preseason.
The Coaches Philosophy
To be honest, some coaches could care less about preseason games while others put much more emphasis on them. Now this is a tip that has been well known for quite some time, but there still can be some value with it, especially with relatively new coaches.
Everybody knows the example of Marv Levy not caring about preseason games and Bill Parcells wanting to win every one of them, so I won’t go into that. Just know that some coaches put more emphasis on them than others, particularly when it comes to certain strengths and weaknesses of the team (we’ll talk more about this below).
The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Team
Let’s face it, some teams have very good backups while other have sub par backups (especially when looking at the QB position). You’ll also want to look for teams that have good players competing for the same position or just any starting position in general. They’ll typically get more playing time, which obviously is important to know.
Know what the team wasn’t very good at last year because most likely they’re going to be focusing on getting better at it during the preseason. Were they terrible at stopping the run? Did they have trouble with their running game?
These are questions you must ask yourself that will give you great insight into the teams overall strategy. The best part is though, it’s actually pretty easy to find the answers to them (unlike in the regular season).
The same can be said with a team that was very good on offense or defense from last year. A lot of times they won’t play their starters much because they already know they’re established on that side of the ball. Subjectivity and making educated guesses to these questions and others are a very important key to NFL preseason betting.
The Teams Strategy/Game Plan
This really falls in line with our previous tip. You’ll have a much better idea of what the teams strategy or game plan is. Why? Well, a lot of times the coaches will come right out and say it prior to the game.
They’re really not trying to hide anything in the preseason. You should have a very good idea of what the team is working on, how long the starters will be playing, and who is competing at what position, as well as injuries. Insight can be much easier to find with preseason games.
Teams That are Streaking
This tip is really geared towards the last preseason game of the year. A lot of teams that have gone undefeated in the preseason will likely try to continue that motivation right into the first game of the year.
In other words, they’re going to put more of an effort into the last preseason game than other teams that may still be working out some kinks. Take a look back at some of the undefeated teams in the preseason and see how they’ve fared in the regular and you can see there is a positive correlation (Now of course it won’t always be 100% accurate).
Starting the regular season with an undefeated preseason can be a huge motivational factor and boost of energy for a team. With that said, keep an eye out for those teams going into the 4th preseason game with an unblemished record.
As with all of my NFL preseason betting tips though, you shouldn’t just bet them blindly. They’re all great starting points, but more research should certainly be put forth. Great value can be found in the NFL preseason and I highly encourage any serious handicapper to look into adding it to their sports betting repertoire.
Well that wraps up some tips for betting before the regular season begins, so now lets look at some tips for after the regular season. Just as NFL preseason betting can offer some great value, so can betting the NFL playoffs.